"The Rest is History"

Based on an Interview with Ken Dixon the founding father of Nascot Wood Rangers, along with Ray and Christel Goodricke, also founding members.

In the summer of 1975 six or seven boys from the Cassiobury estate played football in Cassiobury Park . Terry Dixon was one of these lads, along with Laurie Green and Paul Marsh. Ken Dixon (Terry’s Dad) joined them many times. On one occasion Ken noticed some other boys from the Cassiobury estate and thought it would be a good idea to organise a match between the two groups. This must have been the first game of what was to become Nascot Wood Rangers Football Club.

 

Ken’s group of lads starting meeting more regularly and Ken decided that they would make a good team and should start playing more competitive matches. He rang around local Cub teams and anyone who could put together a side that would play them. (There was no affiliated leagues at this time for these boys, who were around 10 and 11 years old).

 

Paul Rastrick also joined the group and in October 1975 Nascot Wood Rangers became a Club. Ken continued started to manage the team against other ‘scratch’ sides and this had the effect of attracting more boys to the team. “Some were good and some were bad” remembers Ken. “It all sorted itself out in the end though”, he went on.

 

That season they played around 12 games.

 

Ken Dixon established the team formally and entered them into the South West Herts League Under 12’s Division.

 

The first season saw the NWR Under 12’s come a very credible third in the league. They managed to also qualify for the Watford Observer Challenge Cup Final. Meeting Watford Colts as the opposition, the Under 12’s were surprised to turn up at Leavesden when the Colts run turned up from Oxhey with all their supporters on a double decker bus. The game was played on the UK ’s second largest pitch and Nascot Wood Rangers walked away as winners with their first trophy.See paper clipping.

 

Ken was pleased with the result as Nascot Wood had initially won the toss and opted for the home dressing room which “was much bigger than the away dressing room so we prepared much better”. “It was a very big pitch for the youngsters,” remembers Ken.

 

Rangers stayed with the South West Herts League and in their second season, again got through to the final and again won the Challenge Cup. Nascot Wood Rangers were well and truly on the football map in Watford . More players were attracted to the team and the club started to grow.

 

Even though the team was started from scratch and often came up against some very strong sides “We never really got hammered” remembers Ray who was assisting Ken at this time. Saying that Christel remembers watching the lads take a bit of a large defeat 18-1, but this was rare.

 

In 1978 after a meeting ‘outside the shops’ in the Cassiobury parade, Ken asked Ray to start up another team. “It just snowballed” remembers Ray. “Mat Stringer, Mat Cannon joined along with Steve Allen”. Rays team was later asked to play in the Watford Half Time Penalty Shoot Out. His Goalkeeper son Eric is the only Goalkeeper to have gone through the competition without conceding a goal.

 

The first Management Committee meeting took place in Ray and Christel’s living room. Along with Ray and Ken were Alan Cowland (father in law to a certain Nigel Gibbs) and David Potts.

 

Things started picking up in a major way. Phil Green (later to become Chairman of Nascot Wood Rangers) had three boys in the Club and started up another team. (Laurie who played for Ken’s team, Dominic played in Ray’ team and Daniel the youngest also played for the club later). Teams were also started by Alan Cowland and David Potts.

 

Simon Burke (now a Nascot Wood Rangers Manager himself) joined the new Under 12’s team.

 

As more boys joined, the teams kept on splitting to form new teams. Things started growing and the Management meetings were getting bigger. Christel was not impressed when after having new carpets fitted ‘someone’ smoking a rather fat cigar flicked the ash on the carpets and trod it in. “That was it” states Christel, “We moved the meetings to the Nascot Arms after this, as the living room just became too small” adds Ray with a smile.

 

Christel remembers that not all the parents were up for away games and most met at either Ken’s or the Goodricke house before travelling. “The worst times were when the clocks went forward”. “Boys would appear at the house, let themselves in and make their own breakfast. Ian was the worst offender. I came down one morning to find them eating toast in the kitchen”.

 

Travelling to away games was also a challenge. Ray’s orange Maxi (used for his joinery business) was often stuffed full of boys in the back. “You could never do that these days”, Rays remembers. This prompted Ken to remember travelling to one away game with 11 boys in the back of his mini van. “No other parent turned up, so I took them all”.

 

Honours during this season( 1979) included, Alex Bell (Under 13 Player of the Season). He played in the same team as Paul Rastrick . Paul went on to successfully become a Physiotherapist for Millwall, Arsenal and then lead Physio for Watford . Later leaving Watford Paul went onto join Aston Villa.

 

Early links with the United States were forged by Nascot Wood at this time when they met a team from Arlington (near Washington DC ). They also played against arch rivals Garston Boys on their tour of the area. The final game was against a League Representative Side which was managed by Ken Dixon. These links have continued and Eric Goodricke now coaches youth teams in New Jersey in America where he now lives with his wife and family.

 

The Home ground in the early days for NWR was Callowland, when they started with the SWHL. When Ken’s team reached Under 16, they were playing at Reeds School , where they spent the next four years. (The School is now a housing estate – Reeds Crescent ).

 

Ken remembers trying to find a piece of land to make the Clubs own. “We tried to buy apiece of land from Alford & Alder who were closing down and they had a Sports Ground on Wood Lane ”.

We tried to buy the lease but we couldn’t really afford it. We tried everything and we could have bought the lease but there was not enough money to run it”.

 

“We would have gone broke if we had got it” Ray remembers. “We were so close I had even paced out all the pitches”.

 

The 1983 Balance Sheet from the annual report showed £2,608.20 spent during the year. Unfortunately roughly the same amount came in, leaving little for investing!

 

Remembering the age old question of referee’s performances, both Ken and Ray “always disagreed with the man in the middle”. Ray later went on to become a Senior Official with Hertfordshire County , and the Officials Referees representative at Watford . Ray is a Referees Assessor and Trainer. Ken fondly recalls beating Ray in the test with Ken getting 98% and Ray getting “only 97%”. Ken left it at that but Ray went on to become a Football Association Licensed Referee Instructor, County Training Officer, County Examination Officer as well as County Coaching Officer.

 

Trying times as they were, Christel fondly recalls the hassle associated with the kits. “All the kits were washed by us”. Ken’s household went through several washing machines during his tenure at NWR and Christel remembers that the main problem was the selotape used by the boys to hold up their socks and not removed from the kit.

 

The first kits were Yellow and Black vertical stripes with black trim and black shorts (where they existed). Ken got the whole kit “off of a local bloke for a tenner”. Eventually the fist formal colours of the Club became Yellow and Red vertical striped shirts with Black shorts. The second kit (the second kit they bought not the away kit), was light blue and white vertical stripes (ala Argentina ), with black shorts.

 

These two kits led to the Clubs badge which was designed after a competition between the boys. There are actually two badges. The first is predominantly based on the Red / Yellow vertical striped kit (which followed the Yellow/Black shirt) and the second is predominantly based on the light Blue/White vertical stripes.

 

On the first formal kits the numbers had to be sewn on. The shirts were no problem remembers Christel, “But the shorts were really difficult because there were no lines to match them up against. Grandma and me sat in the conservatory and took all afternoon and most of the evening sewing those numbers on”.

 

As Ken and Ray decided they needed some official coaching training they joined the Herts FA course held at Woodside. Interestingly it was run by a  certain Dave Bassett. They have interesting views on this course!!!

   

By 1983 the Cub was very large and Rays team had come to its natural end. “The boys were getting interested in drink, smokes and girls and not necessarily in that order”.

 

Nascot Wood Rangers had nine teams in 1983. Teams were managed by:

 

Under 9 – Chris Eldridge

Under 10 – Barry Rowe

Under 11 – Andy Muskett

Under 12 – Alan Cowland

Under 13 – Roger Styles

Under 15 – Phil Green

Under 17 – David Potts

Under 18 – Ken Dixon

 

Fee’s were:

Registration fees U8/9 50p and 25p per match

Registration fees U10/11 £1 and 25p per match

Registration fees U12 and upwards £2 and 40p per match

The seniors Registration fees U17’s and Seniors £2 and 70p per match

 

Referees fees for a game were £2.50p

 

Allegiances are long standing and Keith Turner at Turners Trophies provided the Clubs trophies and medals in the early days from his shop in St Albans Road .

 

The Club had clearly identified its aims and objectives:

 

The aim of the above Club is to promote football and enjoyment for boys of all ages and to provide continuity up to and including senior levels.

 

Training facilities were always difficult to get in the early days. Nascot Wood formed links with St Thomas Youth Club and trained in their gym. NWR also represented the Club at National Youth Club Championships.

 

The big opposition in the area at the time were Garston Boys, Gadeside and Bushey Rangers. Sun Postal were growing to become a big club by this time.

 

The first team run by Ken Dixon went right through to Senior level. At Under 18 they got through to the Cup Final and lost to Hemel Dolphins. Moving up into Senior level they reached the Senior Cup Final and in their Yellow and Red striped shirts they played Amersham Town .

 

Following this they entered the Senior Leagues of the South West Herts League Division 5 coming second that year. Following promotion to Division 4 they again came runners up. Promoted to Division 3 the team eventually broke up after 3 senior seasons.

 

Michael Potts went on to play with Watford at Junior Level and appeared for the Watford Reserves.

 

The following item was sent to us by Iain Potts to clarify the situation

(Nicky Leason, the guy who brought down Barings Bank, played for Nascot Wood in the early 80's for David Potts' (my dad's) team.

Michael Potts never played for Nascot Wood Rangers. He played for ultra-rivals Abbots Langley Rovers (who became "Evergreen FC")before being selected for Watford FC Juniors (winning FA Youth Cup against Manchester United (7-6 ag.) in a spectacular 1982 Vicarage Road game.

Roy Emmerson and I played for Watford FC youth (briefly) in 1982.

Colin Ahye who played in David's team tragically died in late 2002.

Mrs Vicki Potts washed a million shirts and even managed the team when David was overseas on business.

Jim Cuthbert - "We used to show up for a fight and occasionally a game of football would break out."

Thats about it...it was a great team and a Hell of a lot of fun). Iain Potts

 

Following his day job at Trewins, Paul Rastrick  went onto represent Watford as Physio.

 

Presentation Days were being held at Sun Postal and saw many local starts supporting the Club. Kenny Jacket presenting awards one year. AGM’s were being held at the Hertfordshire Arms which is now a MacDonald’s. St Thomas ’s was used for the Management Meetings.

 

Later teams played in Black and White striped kits.

Nascot Wood Rangers Football Club
Ken Dixon (Right) along with Ray Goodricke (Left)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


The First Nascot Team
Champions

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Early Lad's
Cassiobury Park

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Official First Kit
Clubs nominated first formal strip

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Full Kit
With Numbers thanks to Grandma

 

 

The second Kit
Nascot's second colours

 

 

 

Nascot Wood Rangers Official Club Badge
This shows the Blue/Black version. There was also a Yellow/Red striped version

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Presentation Day's at Sun Postal
Watford Player (Later Coach & Manager)

 

40 years of Youth football

We celebrated 40 years of NWRFC youth football in 2015. See the picture below of our club chair and vice with club members at the time from each age group at the WFC match day

In memory of Scott Forbes

Scott Forbes (Scotty Boy) was not only a fantastic Husband, Father, Brother and Son; he was also a much loved, valued and respected member of our club, his friendship was cherished and enjoyed by everyone who came into contact with him.

Scott loved his involvement at Nascot Wood, subjecting himself to not just the stress of the coaching classes, which I’m sure many of us remember, but also balancing his time between family, work and coaching commitments.

He was immensely proud of each and every one of his players and I know the boys and everyone associated with the team had huge respect for Scott and what they achieved together.
In recognition of this, the club have decided to have a Scott Forbes memorial trophy that will be awarded annually to a team or player who epitomises Scott’s commitment to the club and the game. Scott will be sorely missed by many people, we hope this trophy is a fitting memorial and an opportunity to remember this fantastic man.

Ray Goodricke

It is with great sadness that the Club announces the passing of Ray Goodricke. One of the two founding members Nascot Wood Rangers, Ray passed away after a short illness.

From his founding of the Club in 1975, not much needs to be said about what the club and club mates meant to him over the years. His enthusiasm for the development and future of the Club, which included holding Committee meetings in his living room, together with assisting fellow founding member Ken Dixon with the running of their team, will never be replaced and for that we thank you Ray.

Our thoughts and prayers are extended to his wife Christel and the rest of his family.

One To Watch

Nascot Wood Rangers FC are delighted in congratulating Jordan Balogun on his promising move in the right direction in the football world.

Jordan joined Oxford United FC Academy in August 2013. A true "Purple Army", he joined and played for Nascot Wood Rangers FC from youth until last season (2012/13), Jordan produced solid displays in his first two games for Oxford United Academy against Northampton Town FC and Swindon Town FC, respectively. Unfortunately, Jordan got injured during his third match against Torquay United FC and will be out-of-action for 3-months.

We all wish him a speedy recovery and the very best in his future endeavours with the "U's"